Sunday, June 30, 2013

Brusho Zinnias

11" x 14"
Arches 140#CP
Brusho Watercolor Paint
Winsor Newton Artist Quality Watercolor Paint
Masking Fluid

I have always loved doing 'splash and splatter' watercolors - the method I created by splashing bits of water onto paper, splattering in different paints, and then creating something from the results -- sort of a "Rorschach" creation in watercolor.

I heard about Brusho from posts by Joanne Boon Thomas ( and immediately fell in love with the vibrancy of the colors and the spontaneity of the methods. My dear friend Lorraine surprised me this summer with an early birthday gift - a starter kit of Brusho and DVD (See for information and more details.

When I got home and after catching up a bit, I began playing with the paint powders. This is my third painting using Brusho.

A few tips for its creation:

How I did it:

* Used a photo I had of zinnias
* 'Painted' the zinnia outline and highlighted areas I wanted to save with masking fluid, let dry
* Sprinkled yellow, orange and red brusho in those areas I wanted to color in those hues; green, yellow and
turquoise in those areas for leaves
* Brusho is VERY pigmented and so try to leave as much white as possible as I found it to be more difficult
to remove from areas than the Winsor Newton tube colors
* SPRITZED area with my fine mister - again be cautious about spritzing -- spritz lightly to retain some of the
powdered specks of pigment for texture and white areas; a bit heavier sprtzing for a flow and blend of colors
* Let dry
* Used negative painting to create petals and center. I did this with both Brusho and Winsor Newton tube
colors. The powdered Brusho pigments can be placed in a cup and water added to used like liquid
watercolor paint. I used heavier mixes of Winsor Newton as well.
* Added negative paint to make leaves and veins
* Added more brusho for tone and highlights

It was lots of fun!!!

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wisteria and Barn

15" x 11"
Arches 140#CP

Wisteria season came to North Carolina just before I left for vacation, and I managed to capture a few photographs that I took with me. I got to see wisteria in bloom again while I was visiting Doris, and I really love the fragrance and the way the lilac gives everything a purple glow.

I painted this while at Doris' and the scene s from one of the many farms around Oxford, North Carolina....

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Red Building - Another View of Siena

1/4 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

Siena, Italy is a beautiful city filled with magnificent architecture, busy public squares, churches, shops, and people. I have to admit that my preference though is for smaller towns, a LOT more greenspace and buildings that are no more than several stories high. Still, when I think of Siena, this view is what comes to mind---verticals, stones, arches, towers.

Outside the city gates the countryside ripples over hills and valleys and small mountains with more greens than I can imagine trying to find paint mixes ..... the two sights - the green against all the stone - speaks "Italy" to me ... I land and people I love ....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Laundry in Italy

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

While I was in Italy, I found it most difficult to sit long enough to paint ... there was always another corner to explore, a landscape that caught my eye, storefronts that had so much appeal I had to look further ... and the distractions of so much beauty kept my finger on the camera shutter instead of the brush.

I can't explain what it is about laundry on a line that seems to be so appealing - especially against stone walls, or shutters, or arched doors -- but it seemed the moment someone spotted those marvelous shapes swaying in the breeze, out came the cameras or the brushes!! LOL

This particular sight was spotted in Castellina and was painted by a number of folks from our workshop. I sketched this while on site and worked on the painting after Doris and I returned to her home. I kept the painting small (those luggage restrictions!! LOL) and a bit sketchy as an attempt to keep the spontaneity.

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, June 21, 2013


9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

While visiting Doris, we worked a number of days in her garden. It was always such a pleasure to see what was blooming there. Since her home in Germany was north of my southern US home, I got to experience spring twice ... arriving with the tulips and plum blossoms, experiencing the fragrance and beauty of lilacs, the first collection of spring lettuces, the incredible beauty of peonies, the blooming of azaleas and rhododendron and so much more. I greatly enjoyed, too, the addition of these colorful poppies, sitting in a large pottery jar on the patio. Each day we'd note the changes and new blooms .. such cheerful flowers

One mild, warm afternoon, I sat in the sun and sketched the blossoms and later painted them. They so remind me of my time with Doris and the garden we both love.

Happy First Day of Summer!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bright Poppy

One warm beautifully sunny day, Doris and I were invited to visit our Flickr friend, Gabi, who lived about 30 minutes from Doris. The ride there - through fields filled with lupines - was magnificent. We just couldn't get enough of those beautiful blues!

At Gabi's - we toured her fairy garden (see below) and awesome paintings, enjoyed some delicious cake and coffee, and then sat down for a quick, 30 minute group painting ....

Here we are on Gabi's deck overlooking the fairy garden and town ....


Thank you again, Gabi!

See more of Gabi's and Doris' work here:



for accompanying photographs.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

San Gimignano CC Vignette Approach

I am posting two paintings -- one done using a traditional approach and painted prior to visiting San Gimignano, and this one painted during Karlyn Holman's workshop with a method taught by Australian artist, Pauline Hailwood. I like both for different reasons ... what do you think?

Being away from home, visiting new places, immersing oneself in different cultures, taking new workshops, learning new approaches, all can be incredible stimulating, spark new ideas, methods, colors and more.

In the weeks of my time away, all of this newness kept me thinking and dreaming and clicking away with my camera as I tried to internalize what I was seeing and experiencing. The result was that I found it mighty difficult to paint while all of the experiences slowly worked their way through the process of things to try, things to reject, things to emulate ...

I painted some and I'll be posting these as I catch up ... but I find the process of assimilation still going on. I spent several hours downloading my photographs -- all 6,000 of them!! LOL -- and finding that each image of a particular experience seemed so long ago ... and yet remains so vivid in my psyche ...

Further, all of this 'newness' requires, at least for me, a bit of time to make my own ... to learn how to adapt new painting techniques and ideas into my own 'voice' ... and so for a while yet, the weeks ahead will be a time of incubation, trial and error, while I become comfortable again with my own way of working.

I'd love to hear of your experiences too after you've been exposed to new ideas and methods ...

San Gimignano Traditional Vignette

I painted this in a traditional watercolor vignette style prior to my workshop and visit to San Gimignano.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Home ... after an incredible trip and time. I owe my host and hostess for this journey - Doris and Stefano - a tremendous amount of gratitude and thanks ... for opening their home, hearts, lives, and family to me ... for spending weeks speaking a language other than their own, for delicious food, a comfortable bed, Internet access, trips to jaw-dropping sights, events and activities, gelato, expresso, my beloved brotchen, painting, a drive to Italy and back, a blessed hot water bottle during the unexpected cold temperatures, walks along the rivers and fields, visits to and from Flickr friends, and more ... so much more.

I find 'thank you' so darn inadequate ... but I know you know, Doris, how deeply grateful I am for all you and Stefano have done for me over the last two months....

My heart is full, as is my camera, and my mind and heart return again and again to a family, landscapes, and friends across 'the pond' that are now as much my own as my family and friends here in the US.

A hundred million thank you's ....

And both C and I are eager to share our world with you ..... come on over!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Vernazza 4

Vernazza 4 by linfrye ...on vacation .
Vernazza 4, a photo by linfrye ...on vacation . on Flickr.

On the last few days of our visit to Tuscany we visited Portovenere and Cinque Terre as well as some of the five villages of Cinque Terre. The views, the food, the sea ... absolutely incredible!!! Memories in the making!

Vernazza 3

Vernazza 3 by linfrye ...on vacation .
Vernazza 3, a photo by linfrye ...on vacation . on Flickr.

Vernazza 2

Vernazza 2 by linfrye ...on vacation .
Vernazza 2, a photo by linfrye ...on vacation . on Flickr.


Vernazza by linfrye ...on vacation .
Vernazza, a photo by linfrye ...on vacation . on Flickr.

Portovenere 4

Portovenere 3

Portovenere 2


Portovenere by linfrye ...on vacation .
Portovenere, a photo by linfrye ...on vacation . on Flickr.

From the Ferry along the coast of Cinque Terre